The Korea Herald


EIDF celebrates non-fiction films


Published : Aug. 10, 2011 - 18:48

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EBS event to screen 51 documentaries on TV and in theaters

A total of 51 documentary films from 29 countries will be screened on TV and in theaters in Seoul this month, along with educational workshops and pitching sessions for newly emerging filmmakers.

The 8th EBS (Educational Broadcasting System) International Documentary Festival kicks off on Aug. 19 with a variety of programs that celebrate non-fiction films worldwide.
The official poster of EIDF 2011 (EIDF) The official poster of EIDF 2011 (EIDF)

This year’s theme is “Be the Voice,” and over 660 films from 83 countries were submitted for consideration. A total of 51 pieces from 29 nations were selected among the entries, and they will be screened both on TV and in theaters in Seoul.

The EBS channel will broadcast the featured films for eight hours a day during the festival. The movies will also be screened in several theater venues in Seoul, including EBS SPACE, Arthouse Momo and a Lotte Cinema near Konkuk University.

The opening film this year is “How Are You Doing, Rudolf Ming?” by Latvian director Robert Rubins. It tells a story of an aloof 12-year-old boy named Rudolf who likes to make horror movies on story boards. The boy learns to how to communicate with the world after running into a local priest who suggests making a film about the famous Biblical figure Samson.
A scene from the festival’s opening film, “How Are You Doing, Rudolf Ming?” by Latvian director Roberts Lubins. (EIDF) A scene from the festival’s opening film, “How Are You Doing, Rudolf Ming?” by Latvian director Roberts Lubins. (EIDF)

There are two competitive sections for the festival this year. One of the sections, “Festival Choice,” features a total of 12 films from Korea and abroad.

Among the 12 films, Korean director Paik Yeon-ah’s “Bittersweet Joke” features a single woman whose ex-husband is getting re-married. She does not know how to tell the news to her son, whose wish is to go on a family trip like the good old days before his parents’ divorce.

While “Cultures of Resistance” presents a Korean-Brazilian director Iara Lee’s cinematic travelogue as she visits the most dangerous places in the world, Canadian director Julia Ivanova’s film “Family Portrait in Black and White” tells a story of a woman in a small Ukrainian town who has adopted 16 orphans of African descent. She fights against her racist neighbors’ prejudice on a daily basis to protect her children and family.

“Issues in Education” is a new competitive section that has been created this year. The section features a total of six films that reflect themes that deal with young adults and children. While British director James Newton’s “Boy Cheerleaders” tells a story of nine boy cheerleaders who used to be bullied at school, “World Class Kids” by Israeli director Netta Loevy presents a story of elementary school kids in Tel Aviv, Israel. The class is filled with kids with different ethnic backgrounds, and the director unfolds the embedded racial conflicts that exist in Israel as a whole through the young souls.

The grand-prix winners of the sections will each be given $10,000 prize money.

A total of eight Korean documentaries will be featured for the festival’s non-competitive section called “Korean Docs Panorama.” The films include “Miracle on Jongno Street,” the first Korean documentary on gay culture, “The True Taste Show,” the famous cinematic account of unethical restaurants who would bribe mainstream broadcast corporations to receive good media reviews.

The festival is also to hold a variety of events aside from screenings, including International documentary conference, where participants will be given an opportunity to discuss documentary-related themes such as: documentary and education; documentaries in the era of social media; and funding and distribution of Korean documentaries.

Aspiring filmmakers can benefit from this year’s educational workshops, where one can learn about shooting, pitching, distributing as well as making of a 3-D non-fiction film.

The official opening ceremony will be held at Samsung d’light Multifunctional Hall in southern Seoul on Aug. 19. For more information, call (02) 526-2125.

By Claire Lee (